History of World Architecture

Architecture’s role in creating an urban vision varies from creating feature buildings to providing background consistency while aspiring to implement an overall concept for a city. In achieving urban visions architects formulate urban designs that connect places and people, nature, movements and built fabric. These designs strive to ensure that urban centers are of distinct identity and beauty; have economic variability, social equity and environmental stewardship. Urban designing brings together landscape planning, architectural designs, transport policy, development economics creating a vision for an area.

Urban designing is also involved in deploying skills and resources to bring the urban vision to reality. Through these urban visions there is establishment of unique architecture, identifiable landmarks, pleasant public places, lively commercial centers, attractive and safe public areas and aesthetically pleasing elements in the public realm. Paris under Baron Haussmann's direction After the French revolution Baron Haussmann was appointed by napoleon III to modernize Paris city and so if you tour Paris city Baron Haussmann work permeates most parts of the city.

Baron’s architectural work focused at encouraging economic growth by improving on the roads layout to enhance easy transportation. To achieve his urban vision he demolished the narrow streets that had been constructed before and replaced them with wider ones. This project of modernizing Paris incorporated all the aspects of urban planning such as the city facilities, the sewer and drainage patterns, building facades and also affected every other aspect of the city which led to his approach to urban planning to be vehemently criticized.

In redesigning the city Haussmann introduced new building styles and also established specifications for construction, and the appearance of the buildings and these included the number of floors that a building had to have and the height. Most of Haussmann buildings can be recognizes by their grey roofs, stone facades and balconies in the fifth and second floors. Most buildings designed by Haussmann have five to seven floors and thus can house several families under the same roof. These designs of houses made Paris neighborhoods accessible to variety of social classes.

The ground floor of these buildings was typically for businesses and the first floor housed the business owners. The second floor housed the wealthy families who wanted to live away from noise pollution that was caused by the roads. The higher floors were reserved as servant quarters and comprised of common facilities and small independent rooms. Michelangelo's Campidoglio Michelangelo’s plan to revive a site of great importance Capitoline hill in resulted to the famous Piazza del Campidoglio.

Capitoline hill was the center of civic government and Pope Paul III Farnese requested Michelangelo to redesign the square. Michelangelo redesigned palazzo Senatorio and other buildings that surrounded the square. He began by restoring the old buildings and designing a statue of the roman emperor Marcus Aurelius that is still intact. By modeling the entire town square Michelangelo displayed typical ambition of patronage and ability of renaissance to compose an image for the city as a whole.

In his renaissance art work he displayed eagerness to develop and portray the political potential of natural imagery. Michelangelo’s designs, some of which were implemented after his death such as the monumental square were aimed at expressing the power of the roman senate. By designing the twin palaces Michelangelo architectural work offered a more imposing and muscular facade when it was compared to other Italian architecture of the fifteenth century. The Campidoglio in its architectural design combined both classic elements and Christianity that perfectly represented modernity to the ancient pagan

emperors. Antonio Sant'Elia's Citta Nuova The drawings of Antonio Sant’Elia depicted a modern city that looked like a “gigantic machine”. In his designs Sant’Elia demonstrated various transportation channels comprising of railways and highways, walkways that were made of metal and glass and had an obsession with circulation. In the drawing sketches the urban settings were depicted as mega structures that comprised of connected buildings and movement systems that were multilevel.

In his drawings of the urban designs Sant’Elia had a utopian vision of a city that was completely industrialized and with high levels of technological advancement; he had a futurist view where by he had in mind a new industrial age, urban life that was contemporary and a city with dynamism of modern life. In the city designs the transportation systems which include the streets and walkways were not just confined to the ground but also in tall buildings forming an integrated urban complex. The sky scrapers in the buildings had external elevators and shafts that linked them with other buildings.

Sant’Elia abolished the notion of free standing monolithic buildings but integrated them into a complex urban structure. 2) Soufflot's Church of Ste. Genevieve and Labrouste's Library of Ste. Genevieve both combine technology of one age with the imagery of another to create architectures that are definitively of their own time. Discuss both of these examples within their own historical context. In addition, provide a third example of your choosing that relies upon historical precedent and new conditions.

Discuss your choice in relation to your outlines for both Soufflot's church and Labrouste's Library. Soufflot's Church of Ste. Genevieve and Labrouste's Library of Ste. Genevieve both combine technology of one age with the imagery of another to create architectures that are definitively of their own time. Soufflot's Church of Ste. Genevieve The building of the Soufflot's Church of Ste. Genevieve is seen as a summation of efforts that were aimed at reforming ecclesiastical architecture.

In its design it incorporated Italian renaissance that was dominated by columns in the interior and Greek cross plan that was symmetrical. The building used gothic vaulting techniques of low windows that were meant for aeration and light entry to the interior. The church building applied many concepts of neoclassicism that contrasted the proceeding Baroque style. The vertical positioning of the design, the aeration and lighting integrated the classical and Gothic styles thus creating a church with ethereal qualities.

In the design of the church the magnificence and purity of the Greek architecture was united with the lightness forms of gothic construction and thus a building that represented rational spirituality. Labrouste's Library of Ste. Genevieve The labrouste’s library of Ste. Genevieve in Paris was the first building to have exposed iron structural frames. The iron cast was used to enhance the building’s aesthetic value and structural strength; it was regarded as unsuitable and not legitimate except as an ornamental hardware and other decorative details.

The library building was a rectangular two story building that hybridized rationalist architecture and neo-renaissance by the designs of the facades, the internal organization and the composition of its decorative details. The entrance of the library has ascending staircases that lead to the main reading room with vast open space that shows the integration of traditional structures and modern material. Labrouste wanted to have a garden space in front of the library that would serve as transitional space but the garden was not allowed and so he created a garden like setting on the walls using paintings and inscriptions.

The building had adequate lighting with light from the stairway which had high windows on opposite sides. Iron Bridge at Coalbrookdale The iron bridge was designed in 1779 and the prefabricated cast-iron structure supports itself without any rivet or bolt in the entire structure. It is one of the greatest historical architectural designs with the application of modern technology and new materials and opened the way to modern era of steel and iron buildings. In building the bridge woodworking techniques were used to take into account the different properties of the cast iron.

In the bridge design iron parts were ingeniously designed and were assembled by fitting projections into slots and the joints were tightened with cast iron wedges. On the edges of the iron bridge it was reinforced by strong concrete walls thus making it stronger to withstand heavy loads. Just like the Labrouste's Library of Ste. Genevieve and Soufflot's Church of Ste. Genevieve the Iron Bridge at Coalbrookdale combines technology of one age with the imagery of another and created architectures that are definitely of their time.